LAURINBURG — According to Scotland County Economic Development Director Mark Ward, investments in Scotland County are on the rise.
“Scotland County has seen an increase in new home construction over the past five months,” said Ward, “which includes 39 new construction permits, with home values exceeding $6.4 million as well as nine new commercial investments.”
According to Ward, this does not include Pilkington/NSG and American Wood Fibers, which have announced expansions.
“Since June, there have been 55 available projects submitted to Economic Developers in the state,” Ward said. “Forty-five of those projects requested an existing building.
“Scotland County was unable to be considered for those due to the lack of available buildings,” added Ward. “SCEDC is reviewing plans to partner with a company that will build up to a 100,000 sq foot building on our property, the company will bear all building expenses and SCEDC will hold the land until the company lands an industry, at that time we will either donate the land in lieu of incentives or sell the land at market rates.”
Ward continued by saying he believes the county and city of Laurinburg are seeing an increase in demand.
“Franchise retail businesses are noticing Laurinburg has a lot to offer and homes are selling and construction of new homes is increasing,” said Ward.
Consistency, according to Ward, and a joint effort with all organizations is what is allowing growth within the county.
“The city of Laurinburg, the chamber and the county has not looked at each other as competition, but as partners,” said Ward. “Chris English, Kevin Patterson, Charles Nichols and myself work well with each other, and if one of us has a prospect we don’t care who gets it as long as the company chooses our community.
“I have to admit Hwy. 74 is a huge benefit and this has helped drive the retail growth,” Ward added.
Ward continued and said when a proposal comes to their desks and is submitted, that isn’t the last step, it is the first step.
“We follow up with the client, answer questions and provide data to assist them in making the best decision for their company,” said Ward. “No one knows what tomorrow will bring, but I believe our community leaders of today realize we have to prepare for tomorrow.
“Reinvesting back into our community has proven to work and hopefully we will continue to see positive results,” Continued Ward. “I treat every opportunity as though I won’t get another and we should never get complacent.”
JJ Melton can be reached at [email protected] To support the Laurinburg Exchange, subscribe here: https://www.laurinburgexchange.com/subscribe.